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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Summary Proceedings (Sc): Introduction to small claims procedure

A small claims action is a form of summary cause proceedings used where the total debt does not exceed £3,000. The rules governing small claims (Small Claims Rules 2002) are similar to those for summary proceedings, as are the steps you need to raise an action.

The small claims procedure is designed to provide a cheap, simple and speedy means of settling any dispute about the sum due.

As with summary proceedings (for sums over £3,000 and up to £5,000) you will seldom require to appear in court.

However if the defender wishes to contest the claim, the court will fix a date for a preliminary hearing. You must attend this preliminary hearing.